A few minutes before he ran his team through a Thursday practice session, Baylor coach Scott Drew said: "I'm going to bed early tonight. I'm worn out. I couldn't sleep (Wednesday) night.''
Drew probably couldn't sleep because he was likely still wired up after Baylor stayed in contention for the fourth and final first-round bye in the upcoming Big 12 Conference postseason tournament with Wednesday's entertaining 70-66 victory over Texas A&M. The Bears, Aggies and Texas Longhorns are all tied for fourth in conference play with 8-5 records with only three games left to play.
It's not a reach to believe the No. 24-ranked Bears could actually get the No. 3 seed in the conference postseason tournament.
Kansas, the only unbeaten team in the country, is a perfect 13-0 in conference play, followed by sixth-ranked Kansas State (10-3) and Missouri (9-4). But Missouri still has _ among others _ a road game at Kansas State and a home game against Kansas.
And Baylor holds all tiebreakers involving Missouri since the Bears edged the Tigers, 64-62, on Feb. 13.
"Everything changes from game to game,'' Drew said, "and right now our complete attention is always on the next game.''
The next game for Baylor is Saturday at 12:45 p.m. at Oklahoma. After that, the Bears travel to Texas Tech next Tuesday before finishing the regular season at home on Mar. 6 against Texas.
The Sooners and Red Raiders are each 4-9 in conference play, while the Bears are one of only two teams who have beaten Texas in Austin this season.
Just to enhance their postseason chances, the Bears would like nothing more than to run the table these final three games.
"I don't really like predictions,'' center Josh Lomers said. "We'll go out there and compete and we'll see what happens.''
Drew is not in the prediction business either. But he'd like nothing more than to secure that precious first-round bye in the conference postseason tournament.
"I know the more we win the more it helps,'' Drew said. "But right now it's such a tight race that we're just going to try to focus on one game at a time.''
-- Dwain Price